Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The National Football Foundation has released the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, the pool of 76 former players and eight coaches that will make up the 2012 Hall of Fame class. And not surprisingly, there's several names on the ballot that even a cursory glance would force a That guy isn't in yet? double-take.
Here's eight of them from our perspective, acknowledging that the Eye on CFB team are too young to have gotten a first-hand look at greats like Notre Dame tight end Dave Casper or Michigan State wide receiver-turned-baseball legend Kirk Gibson. With that disclaimer out of the way, the first eight names we'd tick off on our ballot, in alphabetical order:
Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska: A pulverizing force off the edge for the Huskers in the early '90s, Alberts won the 1993 Butkus and Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year Honors.
Tommy Frazier, QB, Nebraska: Just the best option quarterback we've ever seen who just so happened to lead the Huskers to back-to-back national championships. We wouldn't bother to rank all 76 players 1-76, but if we did, we feel comfortable saying we'd put Frazier at No. 1.
Raghib Ismail, WR/KR, Notre Dame: One of the game's true superstars in the late '80s and 1990, "The Rocket"'s highlight-reel returns helped the Irish to the 1990 national title and earned him two-time All-American honors, the Walter Camp Award, and a runner-up finish in the '90 Heisman balloting.
Jimmy Johnson, head coach, Miami, Oklahoma State: Howard Schnellenberger put the Hurricanes on the map, but it was Johnson who made Miami Miami--arguably the most influential college football program in Division I from Johnson's hire in 1984 through their 2001 upset loss to Ohio State in the BCA championship.
Jonathan Ogden, OT, UCLA: Won the 1995 Outland, but awards and numbers don't illustrate how Ogden became -- along with the next entry on this list -- the sport's prototype offensive tackle.
Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State: It actually makes sense that Pace hasn't been elected yet -- this is his first year on the ballot -- but that really shouldn't remain the case long for the game's only two-time Lombardi Trophy winner.
Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami: Yes, he was an NFL bust, and yes, he flopped in the de facto 1987 national title game vs. Penn State. But that shouldn't overshadow an explosive, thrilling career for the 'Canes that saw him throw for 6,058 yards and win the 1987 Heisman.
Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama: How the FBS's all-time record-holder for sacks in a season -- Thomas had a mind-blowing 27 in 1988, the year he won the Butkus Award -- still isn't in the Hall is a mystery worthy of that Sherlock Holmes guy.
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